Attention Grabber

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Geoff the Medio
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Attention Grabber

#1 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Sep 24, 2005 6:24 am

It might be nice if there was some indication on the galaxy map about an important event that occured at a particular system in the previous turn.

I figure a good definition of important in this case is anything that shows up in the sitrep.

What should this look like? I'm not sure... perhaps a little flaggy thing on the map above the systems:
Image

I'm sure someone else can think of something better though... perhaps which is able to convey information about the type of the event through the appearance of the tag.

Before I go post a thread in Graphics about this though, I figured I should check if people think this would be a good / useful idea, or if it would be too much clutter on the map, or any other ideas about how it should work and how the player should use / interact with it. In particular, what should happen if you clicked on the indicator? Would it pop up the main sitrep, or expand the notifier into a mini-sitrep window, listing the event(s) at that system only? It's not practical to display much text associated with one of these things, unless a significantly different appearance is used... but they need some way to tell the player about what event(s) they're for, beyond just that something happened. Popup Tooltips might help, but I suspect that something better could be found...

Thoughts?

guiguibaah
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attention grabber

#2 Post by guiguibaah » Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:04 pm

Perhaps if the attention grabber cycled (faded in / out / in / out) it would not be such a clutter, as most of the other stuff on the galaxy map is static.

I like the icon you designed - Perhps you could append a tiny icon on top of the exclamation mark to explain what the event stands for... ie: construction complete, Ship constructed, civil unrest or attack.
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leiavoia
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#3 Post by leiavoia » Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:48 pm

Or simply color-code it. Red means revolt, yellow means famine, black means blockaded, etc. This is a really good idea. I think i might steal it ;-)

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Dreamer
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#4 Post by Dreamer » Sat Sep 24, 2005 6:22 pm

I like the idea. The only drawback is that you could be looking at another place of the galaxy and not notice it at all. As an alternative the flag can be a little bigger and be always positioned in a fixed point of the screen (say top left). When you click on it it inmediately carry you to the afected system.

It strikes me now that this could even be more general. As in some games, important messages can appear and stack as a column of icons somewhere in the screen. You would see this icons to know important events and jump to the relevant place/window. Not only for system events, but also for diplomatic messages, intelligence reports, etc.

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#5 Post by utilae » Sat Sep 24, 2005 9:10 pm

I like this idea. Geoff, I'd keep that little exclamation icon and make it so that it goes red for a bad event, green for good events and yellow for in the middle. Or maybe red for major event, green for minor.

It would also be cool if you clicked on it would being up a simplified sitrep that showed the events for that planet, which could be expanded to the full sitrep for the entire turn.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: attention grabber

#6 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:34 pm

guiguibaah wrote:Perhaps if the attention grabber cycled (faded in / out / in / out) it would not be such a clutter, as most of the other stuff on the galaxy map is static.
The map isn't completely static, as fleet lines animate, and hopefully the UI will to some degree as well, particularly the system selection indicator and something similar to indicate which fleet is currently selected (which are both desparately needed IMO).

I'm not sure what (or moreso when) you mean by fading in / out... Would the indicator just pulse visible / not all the time whenever in view, or would it only happen if the user mouses over the system...?
I like the icon you designed - Perhps you could append a tiny icon on top of the exclamation mark to explain what the event stands for... ie: construction complete, Ship constructed, civil unrest or attack.
I suspect it'd be better to just replace the ! with a more context appropriate icon... there's nothing too special about ! and the whole icon itself can be vaugly !-shaped...
Dreamer wrote:I like the idea. The only drawback is that you could be looking at another place of the galaxy and not notice it at all. As an alternative the flag can be a little bigger and be always positioned in a fixed point of the screen (say top left). When you click on it it inmediately carry you to the afected system.
I'm not trying to replace the SitRep (which is lists all events in one box at the start of the turn as text with hyperlinks the the relevant system / tech / fleet / buidling). I'm just considering that the centralized list of the SitRep might not be the best way to browse events in all cases... Sometimes having things marked on a map is easier to view and understand, and more useful to realize the reletive importance of two or more events due to their physical proximity, which is not reflected in the SitRep text list.
It strikes me now that this could even be more general. As in some games, important messages can appear and stack as a column of icons somewhere in the screen. You would see this icons to know important events and jump to the relevant place/window. Not only for system events, but also for diplomatic messages, intelligence reports, etc.
GalCiv2 does something like that (or at least they were thinking about it). Having a column of icons for events at the side of the screen in FO might be good too, but is somewhat of a separate issue...

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#7 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:15 pm

I've been thinking along similar lines. My solution to this is to have a 'Threats' Tab on the main screen (of course, this might not suit FO UI design) which shows all (known) incoming military threats. If there are new incoming threats that turn, the tab will flash red (or somesuch).


Exceprt from my DD:

A screen which displays all threats (hostile or unknown incoming fleets, space monsters, troop transports etc). This will consist of a list of current threats, displaying ETA, information on fleet makeup etc, and threat level (i.e. is it a known hostile, a neutral party or something totally unknown).

Each threat will have a 'response' button taking you to the Response Screen for that threat. This will display the current defences for the threatened system, plus a list of nearby resources (i.e. friendly fleets) which can be diverted to provide additional defence (sorted by proximity/travel time). This will include any ships in the reserve at nearby locations, and will take into account mobilisation delays (the entire reserve will be displayed, with a note on the quantity which can be mobilised per turn).

* Resources which cannot arrive in time can be filtered out if required.
* Resources which are already en-route to the threatened system are also displayed (and marked as such), along with current ETA.
* Resources which are already en-route to a different threatened system are marked as such, so that they are not diverted unless absolutely necessary. These resources can be filtered out if required.

The threat display can be configured to issue warnings when new threats occur. In addition, existing threats can be marked to re-issue warnings when the threat is a certain time out from its destination (so that resources can be held to defend at another location until the last moment).
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#8 Post by Impaler » Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:14 am

I think this will be a great feature to extend and strengthen Sit-Reps. I offten have difficulty remembering the location of partiuclar events after I have viewed the Sit Reps in Stars!.

When the player is viewing their Sit-Rep reports they should have some option buttons on how to close the Rep. "Close" removes the report and dose not generate an attention flag, "Squelch" acts like close but acts to supress future reports of the same type much like Stars! has. "Attention" has the opposite effect of producing an attention flag on the Map after the Sit-Rep viewing is over. Thus the player has options to both incresse and decreese the amount of organization the sit-rep system gives them.

Color coded and Icon based attention flags sound like the best way to go. Color might indicate the general type of event. Red for Battles, Yellow for Construction, Green for Colony managment ect ect. A small sub-set of Icons within each color group for more nuianced meanings aka "Victorius Battle", "Enemy fled", "Defeat", "3rd Party Engagment".

That reminds me we MUST have a "new emeny fleed detected" and "Incoming Enemy Fleet" Reports. I hate getting suprised by fleets coming at me when the Galaxy is full of ships like a swarm of Bees. Size/Strength indicators of Fleet Icons would help this as well (but thats a subject for another day).

Lastly I imagine we will have a means of Map filtering that will turn the Attention Flags on or off (along with all other forms of information display for the main galaxy map screen). After Sit-Rep viewing is over the map defaults to show any flags the player wanted so you can easily and imediatly see the events. Another point to make the flags should be numbered to corespond to the number of the Sit-Rep. double click the Flag to bring up the sit-rep so you can double check it. With the Sit-Rep reopened "Attention" now will read "Stand Down" which will remove the flag. "Close" closes the Rep without removing the flag and "Squelch" both removes the flag and supresses future Sit-Reps.
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#9 Post by Sapphire Wyvern » Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:49 am

Impaler wrote:I think this will be a great feature to extend and strengthen Sit-Reps. I offten have difficulty remembering the location of partiuclar events after I have viewed the Sit Reps in Stars!.
SitRep entries should be clickable to bring up the relevant UI component, obviously.

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